Sangiovese is a wine near and dear to our hearts. It has been a staple on our tasting list for most of the time we’ve been open, and long ago we discovered it made the absolute best Sangria which we serve at The Restaurant at Ponte. This grape varietal originated in Italy and took its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis or “the blood of Jove.” According to Roman mythology, the god Jove, or Jupiter, was the king of all the gods, the god of sky and of thunder. In other words, Jove was the man. So, that makes Sangiovese – the wine. We think so, anyways.
Some experts theorize that the Sangiovese grape dates back to the time of Roman winemaking, or to the time of the Etruscans, an ancient civilization in the Tuscany area of Italy. We’re talking hundreds of years BC. While it’s difficult to pinpoint a date in which the grapevines were first cultivated, it is easy to see why Sangiovese has withstood the test of time. Typically, young Sangiovese wines are fresh and fruity, with a little spiciness. As they age, they can take on oaky flavors and earthy aromas with medium tannins and acidity. All in all, Sangiovese is a very pleasant wine, whether it’s been aged or not.
Our classic Sangria, served at The Restaurant at Ponte
Great on its own, as exemplified in our current 2011 vintage, Sangiovese is also a key grape in some of the most famous and loved Italian wines. Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino and Super Tuscan wines are all created with Sangiovese. With its bright character, Sangiovese wine is a wonderful choice to serve with dishes high in acidity (think classic Italian red sauce), like veal or eggplant parmesan and pizza. And, of course, don’t forget to use it in Sangria!
The current 2011 Sangiovese which Members found in their February shipment is rich in flavors of red and black raspberry, strawberry and oak. Some folks have detected tart cherry notes as well. In addition to pairing well with all of the aforementioned dishes, it can really play up the flavors in otherwise bland foods, like meatloaf. Sangiovese also does well with herbs – think herb roasted chicken.
We’d love to know what you think of our current Sangiovese. Leave a comment here, email us or let us know your thoughts during your next trip to Ponte. Members, you can purchase additional bottles here at a fantastic 30% discount this month. If you’re into aging wines, this vintage is also going to be exceptional in a few years. Keep it in a dark, cool place.
–Are you a Sangiovese fan? What do you think it tastes best with?